PROPS & DISSES: 3.19.14

By on March 18, 2014
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

JACKSON, WYO – Radio wrecking ball – DISS
Rich Broadcasting continues to make balance sheet maneuvers that make little sense. Owner Richard Mecham has now shredded the Jackson radio group to one remaining regular on air personality and another booted from his time slot and buried on afternoons.

Longtime KMTN afternoon celeb Holly Danner was the latest casualty, fired last Friday along with KZ95’s Bob Thompson. Thompson’s departure leaves KZ95 with no local personalities manning the mic, only a vulgar, piped-in zoo morning show that, judging from the juvenile humor, targets 15-year-old boys – hardly the demographic rich enough to save Rich.

Mecham also fired well-respected newsman Tom Ninnemann, leaving the radio group with no local weather forecaster and no local news source. News on the website hasn’t been updated since last Friday and it remains to be seen whether Mecham will bother doing anything local.

News of the latest downsizing at Jackson Hole Radio was accompanied by a press release presumably meant to deflect any heartburn at the departure of Danner, Thompson, and Ninnemann. It stated that 96.3 FM – once home to ESPN programming – would be switching over to a simulcast of KID-AM’s station.

KID runs the standard fare heard all across America on any given radio station: Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, etc.

Terrestrial radio will not slay the dragon that is XM and television by programming canned, nationally syndicated stuff that can be found anywhere and everywhere including podcasts.

Survival of smaller local radio stations depends on their ability to service locals in a way only they know how. Lost dog reports on KMTN might not seem glamorous to Mecham but they are a perfect example of where local stations need to be.

KHOL will fill the void and Mecham will soon be looking to dump these stations after he has gutted them beyond recognition.

Behind the science of counting grizzly bears PROP
A very interesting meeting is headed our way later this month. The Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (YES) of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) will hold its spring meeting in Jackson on March 26 to 27.

A new study questioned counting methods employed by the IGBC, suggesting biologists’ methods may be so flawed they might have no idea how many grizzly bears roam the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. An accurate estimation of grizzlies is crucial, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to propose delisting from the Endangered Species Act in 2014.

A controversy began when Daniel Doak of the University of Colorado-Boulder and Kerry Cutler of the University of California-Berkeley published a peer-reviewed scientific paper recently. The study suggests bears are probably being over-counted because their vanishing food sources like the whitebark pine nut have caused a change in dietary habits leading researchers to believe more bears are out there than there really are.

Frank van Manen, leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, disagrees with Doak and Cutler’s findings and will explain why at public meetings taking place at Snow King Resort starting at 1:15 p.m. on Wed., March 26, and ending at 4:45 p.m. Proceedings will resume at 8 a.m. on Thurs., March 27, and conclude by 11:30 a.m.

The information provided will be important for anyone concerned with the health of the grizzly bear population. USFWS currently says there are 718 bears in the Greater Yellowstone area. That’s significantly more than the previous estimate of 600. Recovery is considered achieved when the grizzly bear population reaches 500.

Wyoming news agency lands grant PROP
WyoFile received a well-deserved $75k in grant money from the John S. James L. Knight Foundation Fund at the Miami Foundation. The Wyoming nonprofit news agency will get payouts over the next two years.

The funding is part of a Knight Local Media Initiative that aims to help nonprofit news organizations establish long-term sustainability.

“Since WyoFile launched in 2008, we have been committed to filling a gap left by shrinking newsrooms, providing in-depth reporting on Wyoming’s people, places and policy in ways that educate the public and help citizens become more engaged in public life,” WyoFile editor-in-chief Dustin Bleizeffer wrote in a prepared statement. “We are extremely pleased to have the support of the Knight Foundation in our continuing mission.”

Indeed, with local news gathering sources drying up, WyoFile provides a crucial voice in Wyoming.

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